THE EAST RIDING COUNCIL has received a request under the Freedom of Information Act about its publication the East Riding News. The request which is detailed below seeks information about the costs of the publication and the extent to which advertising covers these costs.
This information will be of interest to council-tax payers in the East Riding and help inform those worried about the effects that the East Riding News might be having on other publications by drawing advertising and other income away from them e.g. the Holderness Gazette and the Hull Daily Mail.
The Hedon Blog has often applauded the useful content and information contained within the East Riding Council’s newspaper. However, we should all be concerned if the existence of East Riding News does in any way contribute to undermining other investigative media operations. Whether you love them or hate them the Mail and Gazette play a crucial and independent role in holding the local council and local politicians to account for their decisions and actions.
ERYC – Freedom of Information Request to provide:
1. The name, frequency and distribution/circulation of your council
newspaper (by council newspaper I mean the most frequently
published newspaper or magazine intended for mass distribution
covering more than one topic)
2. How much it cost to produce and distribute said newspaper in the
last full financial year, and how much was budgeted from council
resources in the financial year 2009/2010
3. How much of that cost is offset by advertising
4. How much of that advertising, if any, comes from external
sources (ie not from your authority’s budgets)?
5. Which other public sector partners pay to run advertising in
your newspaper, eg PCTs?
6. Whether recruitment advertising forms part of the advertising in
7. A copy of an editorial policy guide, if one exists, which
governs the material which is placed in the newspaper, and how it
8. A copy of an advertising policy guide, if one exists, which
governs what sort of advertising is suitable.
9. The number of people employed to put your newspaper/newsletter
together, including total cost and staff organisation chart
The Hedon Blog will bring you updates on progress with this Freedom of Information Request. In the meantime you might want to leave comments with your own views on this issue.